Friday, March 25, 2011

Interview (Being Erica): Things Heat Up for Adam

“Being Erica” is well into its third season on SOAPnet, with Erica getting acclimated to her new business as well as group therapy. Adam Fergus, who plays patient Adam Fitzpatrick on the show, stands out as a man whose been on the wrong path in life who’s trying to make amends and make it right. Beginning Wednesday (11 p.m. ET/PT), things for Adam really start heating up, as we learn more about his past, and where that will take him in the future. When I spoke with Adam recently, he shared with me his experiences of being the new guy on a hit show.

Daytime Dial: You were a new cast member coming into the third season. “Being Erica” was already established, with its vocal fan base in place. Were you ever nervous about fitting in or if your character would be embraced by the fans?

Adam Fergus: I’ve always been the kind of person who is pretty easygoing. The Canadians are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met in my life — I was so welcomed. So, as a person, I had absolutely no problems fitting in. I got along with the cast and the crew and everybody involved. But in terms of my character, yeah, I was worried that my character was going to be pulled by the network after a couple of episodes because they didn’t like him. But after a couple of episodes, everyone was coming up to me and saying how happy they were with the character. But you don’t really know how it’s going to be perceived until the audience critiques the character, so, I was pretty nervous when we were filming it.

DD: How were you able to assimilate into the time-traveling world of “Being Erica”?

AF: You have to give credit to Erin (Karpluk, who plays Erica) first and foremost. She’s so good, and she’s such a technically brilliant and gifted actress. She remembers everything that’s happened in any of the episodes in any of the previous two seasons. She keeps us on our toes.

DD: When I spoke with Erin a few months back, she said you bring a kind of masculinity to the show that had been lacking before. What do YOU think you bring to the show?

AF: Well, that (masculinity) is first and foremost what the team of all four executive producers wanted to bring to the show. Initially, the part wasn’t for an Irish guy at all. It was sort of added to the story and changed as the season went on. But initially we hadn’t really decided whether I was going to play it in a Canadian or Irish accent. There was going to be a Canadian character and an Irish character. Everyone was of the opinion that they liked the Irish character better. Toronto is such a multicultural city, and Canada seems like a nation that embraces everybody.

DD: Aside from being the heart and soul of the show, what do you think Erin brings to “Being Erica”?

AF: You know, it’s funny — the character of Erica is such a wonderful character. I love the fact that she is such a flawed person and easy to relate to — and not just for women, but for anybody. Some of the situations that Erica has been in, I had been in during my life. And I think that’s the thing, that it transcends those kind of barriers, and the fact that she’s not the perfect supermodel. And then what Erin has brought to that character — she has amazes us.

DD: As we all know, Adam rejected Erica’s advances in episode six, which really could have put you in the doghouse with the female viewers. And yet we just can’t stay mad at you. How do you do it?

AF: That was obviously a worry I had. But it comes down to Jana’s (Sinyor) and Aaron’s (Martin) writing and the whole writing team. The whole show really creates such well-balanced characters and well-written dialogue. To be able to say the words they write and play the character that they’ve written is a great opportunity.

DD: I think it also has to do with the accent. I don’t know about Canadian women, but I know we American women are suckers for a man with an accent.

AF: Yes. I’m never losing it. I’m going to try to be like Sean Connery and always have it about me my entire career. He seems to have gotten away with it very easily. On second thought, I don’t know if I will. I’m no Sean Connery anyway.

DD: What do you enjoy about playing the character of Adam?

AF: Adam has a dark and dangerous past with an abusive family. Not that anybody craves that, but it’s an interesting thing to try to play, to get to these places where it’s believable for an audience and they embrace you as a character as well. And the fact that he has sort of detached emotionally from the real world, and as you find out later on in the season why that is, it’s a maternal issue he has. That is why people can relate to him. You can see that he struggles with it and he doesn’t know why he struggles with it. He doesn’t understand that you can actually be friends with and have a relationship with the girl that you are sleeping with. And it actually works better that way.

DD: Tell me about Adam’s journey as it relates to the next few episodes.

AF: It’s a subtle journey that he goes on. It’s all about the discoveries that he makes. I did some of the most emotional stuff I’ve ever played as an actor in some of the scenes in (the coming episode). If you can get to those emotional places and make it believable as an actor, you achieve your goal. Michael Riley (who plays Dr. Tom) sent me a text after reading the script for this episode that said: “This is a great one for you.” Michael was a great help and a great influence on all of us the entire season. He was very supportive, especially in those big scenes I have to do coming up.

DD: Adam wants so badly to be a good person. How much is that a driving force for him?

AF: I think he struggles. I think he wants to be this ideal person that doesn’t really exist. It’s because of Erica and group therapy and Dr. Tom that he discovers that it’s OK to be able to give yourself a second chance. You don’t have to beat yourself up for the rest of your life just because you made some bad choices. We see from the beginning that he’s already made some big steps with Dr. Tom, and he really is trying, but I don’t think he’s figured out how to do it yet. It’s through Erica and through Dr. Tom that he finds his path.

DD: We recently got word that “Being Erica” has been renewed for a fourth season. What do you hope for Adam’s future?

AF: I think there is going to be an interesting dynamic between Adam and Erica. I’d like to see him grow up a little bit more. I’d definitely like to learn a little bit more about his relationship with his brother and see if they can develop that in any way. Hopefully he continues to grow and achieve his goal. He is kind of halfway there already.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

GH Releases Statement on Elizabeth Taylor's Passing

"We were honored to work with Elizabeth Taylor on General Hospital. Her portrayal of Helena was a defining moment for the show and an extraordinary experience for everyone involved. She was a great talent, a gracious lady, and a rare presence. We are deeply saddened by her passing and send our deepest condolences to her family and friends."

BREAKING NEWS - Elizabeth Taylor Has Died

(From KTLA News)

Legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor has died at the age of 79.

Taylor died early Wednesday morning of congestive heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to her publicist, Jamie Cadwell.

She was hospitalized in February for symptoms caused by congestive heart failure, described at the time as "an ongoing condition" by Cadwell.

Taylor, a double Oscar winner famous for her eight marriages -- twice to actor Richard Burton -- underwent heart surgery in 2009 to replace a leaky valve.

(Read the rest here.)

While she will, of course, be remembered for her magnificent performances in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "Giant" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," she will also be remembered by soap-opera lovers for her infamous appearance in 1981 on "General Hospital" as Helena Cassadine (she also made a cameo on "All My Children" in 1983). This was quite a coup for GH to acquire an actress of Elizabeth's caliber, and I remember the excitement around my house (and my grandmother's) as the story unfolded and Helena played a pivotal (and menacing) role in the wedding of Luke and Laura.

Elizabeth was married eight times, and she leaves behind four children and nine grandchildren.